0162 From Field Grave to Comrades' Grave

The German First World War Graves on the Flanders Front

  • Jan Vancoillie (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


In the beginning of World War I, most of the fallen soldiers were buried in field graves, but as it became clear that maintaining those would not be possible, larger war cemeteries were created. During the war, the field graves were concentrated into new cemeteries which were more and more standardized. The fighting in 1917-1918 destroyed many cemeteries. After the Armistice, the maintenance of German cemeteries was minimal, even if Belgium had to take care of them according to the Treaty of Versailles. In 1926 Germany took over the care for their graves after an agreement with Belgium, and until 1940 graves were concentrated in redesigned concentration cemeteries. After the Second World War, the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge was given the task of maintaining the cemeteries. The number of World War I cemeteries was reduced further to four remaining cemeteries in West Flanders.


Flanders, Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge, military cemeteries, First World War, war dead